Lundbeck saw its share price jump by as much as 10% during trading in Copenhagen yesterday after the company said that net profits for 2004 jumped 25% to 1.7 billion Danish kroner, versus 2003, on the back of a one-off 421 million kroner payment from Merck & Co for the US rights to the sleep drug, gaboxadol [[11/02/04b]]. Investors were also pleased with the Danish firm’s forecast of 2005 profits of around 2.2 billion kroner, in spite of continuing negative currency rates.

Revenues for the twelve-month period dropped by 2% to 9.7 billion kroner, but included strong performances from the firm’s antidepressant franchise – Cipralex (escitalopram) surged 157% to 1.7 billion kroner, and a Lexapro (escitalopram), jumped 26% to 2.4 billion. The Alzheimer’s disease drug, Ebixa (memantine), surged 153% to 722 million kroner.

Lundbeck says it expects to maintain profit from operations at the 2004 level into 2005, in spite of the continued weakness of the US dollar. It is targeting growth in profit from operations of more than 12% for each of the years 2006 and 2007, which it aims to reach “through increased revenue from products in the company’s portfolio and continued cost awareness.”